Interledger Looks to Develop and Grow as Protocol


Adrian Hope-Bailie of Interledger, the protocol for connecting blockchains, payments networks, wallets and all other aspects of distributed ledger technology, has written his thoughts on bootstrapping the Interledger with an aim of getting real money moving through it.

To achieve this, Hope-Bailie had three main areas of focus: firstly, to bootstrap a network of dial-up ILP users by making it very easy to run a connector and/or wallet, secondly to focus on low value use cases to provide low risk, and finally to leverage the permission-less nature of cryptocurrencies to introduce ILP-enabled ledgers and institutional connectors or exchanges.

With a dial-up ILP, a community would need to form and have an easy method of participating in the network. Nodes could use the ILP Connector Kit, which maintains net positions of other connectors in a local ledger and allows users to settle via an external channel, to transfer between themselves –likely people that they know or with very small amounts to keep the need for trust low.

The ILP could seed this process by facilitating in-person social interactions of enthusiasts and encouraging them to peer with one another; encouraging the community to run local meetups to gather other enthusiasts and start building a local Interledger subnet. From a series of well-established geographically centred subnets it would be a small step to provide connectivity across these subnets for it to evolve into a global network of networks -the Interledger. The company hopes the cryptocurrency community will become involved with this.

Instead, the focus on low value person to person payments or micropayments may be chosen to bootstrap the network. Interledger has previously demonstrated making micropayments with its platform for both streaming payments and payments built into the browser. For people willing to do this it is suggested that donations to a charitable cause could be a good use for this type of payment. With low value p2p payments it would be possible to use the ilp-kit wallet but Hope-Bailie believes the true potential would be found if existing wallets looked at how they could add ILP to their mix of services – with every wallet having one or more ILP addresses and the wallet provider running a connector to facilitate sending and receiving.

Other ideas for easy p2p payments included IM integrations, like a Slackbot that can quickly send a small payment using ILP, or the integration of payment capabilities into any existing service that connects users to one another. This could have the benefit of being funding agnostic as ILP is independent of the wallet or funding source.

Matthew Warner
Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.